State Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) said on Monday he planned on returning to work after his cardiac arrest in South Korea recently left him hospitalized.

Melson told the Times Daily before a Monday meeting of the Lauderdale County Agricultural Authority he was “trying to get well and get some stamina back." 

"I had no intention but to pick up where I left off when I'm able," Melson said. "I start physical therapy next week. They said I didn't really need to go, but I'm going to go ahead and go because it seems like the smart thing to do. I have no reason to believe I can't do the job. I feel like I'm going to do fine."

Melson told the outlet he met with Senate leadership to discuss his health and they have no questions about his ability to continue serving.

Melson said he doesn't remember anything for several days prior to the cardiac arrest.

"And I don't remember anything except waking up in the unit," he said. 

Melson told the Times Daily he was impressed with the hospital staff in Korea where he received treatment.

"They did some things I'm not sure they would have done in the United States," Melson said. "The worst part about the trip was the flight home. It took 40 hours. Had to stop in five spots. The crew on the plan was great. They let me sit however I wanted to, take a nap if I could," Melson told the outlet.

Melson said he's been fitted with a pacemaker and told to "take it easy." 

“I'm very fortunate, I really am. When they call your wife and tell her you're not going to make it and your son gets your CT scan and your MRI and all that, and it's not favorable," Melson said.

Melson told the outlet at one time a heart transplant was discussed.

"All I had to have was a pacemaker," Melson said. "They said my heart cath didn't show any blockage." 

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.